Manhattan (1979)


“My analyst warned me, but you were so beautiful I got another analyst.” – Isaac Davis

Number of Times Seen – Twice (27 Aug 2001 and 5 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A TV comedy writer’s life gets complicated when he falls in love with his best friend’s mistress.

My Take on it – I have always found Woody Allen films hit or miss and this is one of them that works quite well.

This largely has to do with the dialogue and Allen is superb at writing dialogue for his characters that feel very realistic.

The conversations between these characters helps develop them before our very eyes as we see each of them evolve over the course of the film.

This is yet another Allen film that tries to tackle the idea of what makes or breaks relationships.

He does it really well here because he gives each of his characters some great idiosyncrasies which helps them feel even more real and genuine in all that they say or do.

These characters are all flawed in some way but that helps make them even more realistic at the same time.

Allen proved in Annie Hall (1977) that he and Diane Keaton have great chemistry together and despite the fact that their connection doesn’t work as well they still do a fine job here.

Muriel Hemingway is the standout among the supporting cast and was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance here.

Bottom Line – Allen is great at writing dialogue for his characters and that helps make his movies so enjoyable to watch. The dialogue helps the viewer watch the way that the characters evolve throughout the course of the film.  Once again he tackles the idea of relationships and does it really well that we can believe the idiosyncrasies of these characters who are all far from being perfect, yet they still feel realistic due to their flaws. Allen has great chemistry with Keaton once again even if the story isn’t as good as it was in the previous film together, Annie Hall (1977).  Hemingway stands out among the supporting cast and very deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role here. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Jeff Stafford at the TCMDb, “When Manhattan (1979) was first released, there was some criticism leveled at the film for its depiction of a romance between a teenager and a 42-year-old man but several biographical sources have suggested that the relationship had a real-life parallel in Woody Allen’s two-year romance with actress Stacey Nelkin. Reportedly, Allen met Nelkin on the set of Annie Hall (1977) when she was a mere 17-year-old extra (Her small part ended up on the cutting room floor). Certain aspects of the Isaac-Tracy relationship may also have been inspired by Allen’s real-life correspondence with 13-year-old pen pal, Nancy Jo Sales”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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3 thoughts on “Manhattan (1979)

  1. Manhattan has loads of lovely black and white shots of well… Manhattan and some fun kooky, typical Woody Allen dialogue but the fact that none of Isaac’s friends seem vaguely surprised or bothered that he is dating a teenage girl is very weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1979 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1979 | MovieRob

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